gro-luggage
Most of us can’t imagine traveling without our smart devices these days and fear how we’ll sit through the journey if our iPods die out or our tablets are no longer able to play another episode of the new show we’re binging on. G-RO is a smart luggage solution that aims to address those concerns and eliminate many others, it promises to be “intelligent luggage without the baggage.”

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G-RO aims to tackle issues of durability, affordability, exterior and interior volume as well as weight, and it does all of that quite nicely, leaning on innovative design concepts and engineering. It features large diameter axle-less wheels which enables users to wheel the luggage over tough terrain like cobblestone, snow, icy sidewalks and street curbs.

Pulling it is easy and hassle-free due to G-RO’s ideal mass distribution as it places the rotation axis of the wheel closer to the bag’s center of gravity.  Luggage space is maximized by the dual compartment system providing quick access to packed items while keeping clothes wrinkle-free.

It even comes with an optional electronic module that has a 23,000mAh battery, strong enough to charge a mobile device up to 10 times, there’s also a proximity detector and a location tracker onboard. G-RO has two USB ports and a universal power outlet allowing users to charge up to three devices at the same time on the move. To safeguard the bag and its contents against damage during use or mishandling by airport baggage personnel the G-RO’s wheels which are made out of very strong aerospace and firearm-grade polymers reinforce its walls.

The company has launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter and it seeks to raise $125,000 to bring this carry-on bag project to fruition.

Q&A with Netta Shalgi and Ken Hertz, Founders,
Travel-Light & creators of the G-RO Smart Luggage

Let us know a little about your background, what did you do before starting Travel-Light?

Netta Shalgi is an Industrial designer with extensive experience in product design and development. He owns a business for industrial design (www.nettashalgi.com), providing design and planning services to companies, such as Intel, Alcatel-Lucent and Elbit Systems, and furniture, lifestyle and design companies. In addition, he also develops “Turn-Key” solutions from concept to production for projects requiring process management services.

For 4 years, Netta was the Design & Product Development director of a medical device start-up, with responsibility for executing projects from start through completion, including clinical trials, standardization, sales and marketing.

Netta initiated and executed a successful Crowdfunding campaign (My Wooden Horse on Kickstarter) and is an advisor and active participant in other crowdfunding projects. Netta holds a B.A. in Industrial Design from the Holon Institute of Technology (HIT) in Israel (graduated with honors) and from the University of Lapland, Finland (Dean Scholarship & Award).

Ken is a senior partner in the Beverly Hills law firm of Hertz Lichtenstein & Young, LLP. The firm specializes in representing prominent celebrity talent in the sports and entertainment industries. Previously, Mr. Hertz was in charge of music—business and legal affairs—for The Walt Disney Company. Ken is also the founder of memBrain, an entertainment marketing and strategy consulting firm, which advises corporate clients in the entertainment content, fashion, technology, and marketing industries (memBrain’s clients include Hasbro, McDonald’s, Intel, MillerCoors, Coty and Logitech).

Ken has also been an instructor at UCLA’s Anderson Graduate School of Management and an adjunct professor of law at USC. He serves on the board of the UCLA School of Theater Film and Television, the Drug Policy Alliance and the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation. He is a frequent speaker and commentator on the subjects of entertainment, marketing and convergence.

How and when did you decide to start Travel-Light, the company behind the G-RO smart luggage?

Netta Shalgi, an industrial designer by education, a hungry entrepreneur and a traveler from a young age, has always been fascinated with mechanics, creation and bringing things to life. From his first project melting down Legos and turning them into new Legos that allowed him to build what was in his imagination to his creation of G-RO, Netta’s passion has been taking the blueprints in his mind and turning them into products that people can use and enjoy.

Ken Hertz, a strategist, lawyer and frequent traveler who lives out of his luggage over six months a year, wanted to save all his “travel brothers and sisters” in the business journey. Ken and Netta combined their ideas about improving travel and used them to develop a hero product. In 2010, they established a new company, Travel-Light LTD.

Besides the smart capabilities what were the key issues you noticed in the product design of regular carry-on luggages?

Lack of maneuverability and ergonomics. Need for separation between work and life (which is always recommended for our personal well-being).

Can you explain more in details how the tracking works, is there a maximum range above which you cannot track it anymore?

The location tracker is based on GSM cellular module, so it locates your bag via cellular signal. So you can track your bag anywhere where there’s cellular reception. The proximity detector is based on Bluetooth signal and only works at short ranges. It alerts you when the bag comes into your immediate area or leaves your immediate area.

Is large the 23,000 mAh battery not an issue for going through security without being stopped?

No, it is allowed in most airports. However, there are some Asian airports that have banned batteries over 20,000 mAh.

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